2 Corinthians 8:22-24
John W. Hammes was a tinkerer and inventor. This Wisconsin architect and contractor enjoyed using his basement workshop to bring to life his ideas for making household chores more convenient. Legend has it that in 1927, Hammes committed himself to inventing a better way of disposing of food waste after watching his wife carefully wrap their food scraps into newspaper before discarding them in the trash can. By 1933, Hammes had created the garbage disposal and filed a patent for the In-Sink-Erator, a product and company that still exists today. His love for his wife was so powerful that it motivated him to pour years of his life into perfecting a device that would make her nightly chore of washing up the dinner dishes easier. It could be argued that simply helping his wife clean up after supper would have been a greater act of love, but to each his own.
In closing out his appeal for financial support from the wealthy Corinthian believers for the impoverished Jerusalem church, Paul suggests they show proof of [their] love (v. 24). Certainly, we can be similarly challenged, particularly around stewardship emphases, capital campaigns, or mission offerings. It can feel manipulative to quantify our love in dollars and cents, and our modern, cynical, overly-marketed-to brains mistrust such appeals. Let the truth, though, of Paul’s transactional suggestion sink in. We give time, attention, and money to what we care about. If we say we love God, giving what we have to God’s work in the world should be the easiest display of commitment possible. And when your money falls short, you can take up a dry cloth and help with the dishes.
How can you prove your love for God today through giving or service?
Loving God, you need no proof of our love, but we often do. Help us to recognize the ways we can respond to your love for us by giving and serving. Amen.